Scythe Heatlane Zen NCU-1000 fanless CPU cooler

Cooling
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Let's take a step back and show you the box it comes in:

Here are the contents of the box (minus the installation sheet):

Starting with (1) the cooler on the left and going clockwise, there's (2) a bag of bolts, nuts and other hardware, (3) an aluminum plate that is part of the clamping / mounting assembly , (4) a rubber insulator sheet for the back of the motherboard, (5) the retention plate for the back of the motherboard, (6) the copper base of the cooler, and (7) the 1" tall fan decoupling rubber doo-hickey I often use to provide scale perspective in photos. Oh and (8) that little white round thing near the top is a container of thermal goop. Looks like silicone-based thermal interface material.

As you can gather, some assembly is required to go from this collection of parts to the installed cooler setup shown earlier. The manufacturer's website has a detailed PDF manual for download. The assembly is not difficult. Four bolts sandwich the bottom portion of the HS (1) between the copper base (6) and the aluminum plate (3). It ends up looking like this:

The copper plate can be turned 90 degrees from the position shown above. The instructions state that the wider side of the fins structure should face up/down. Which way the copper plate should be mounted depends on the CPU socket configuration of the motherboard. The point is that you want the holes or slots in the heatsink to be facing up/down rather than side/side so that air will flow through them in natural convection.

For the record, the copper base is very smoothly polished. Some fine machining lines are visible but they cannot be felt. Lapping is not recommended.

Installation requires the removal of the standard P4 heatsink retention bracket (made of black plastic). In their place, for sizable bolts are mounted from beneath the motherboard. The aluminum plate (5) goes on the underside of the motherboard, with the rubber insulation piece (4) in between. This naturally requires that the motherboard is removed from the case.


No, it does not rest directly on the motherboard; a rubber pad insulates the plate from the motherboard.


The bolts where the plastic HS retention bracket once was. Ready for HS mounting.

Once the bolts have been secured to the motherboard, the heatsink fits neatly on the motherboard, the bolts lining up to 4 holes on the copper base. Round knurled nuts are used to secure the heatsink. One assumes they are designed specifically to be finger-tightened so that some ham-fisted user with a torque wrench can't abuse the HS or damage the CPU.

NOTE: Tightening these round knurled nuts is a bit fussy, as you have to squeeze your hand and fingers between the PSU and this HS to tighten those knurled nuts. Be patient, go slow. A case with more room between the PSU and the motherboard would be nice, but it seems most have similar spacing, even the tall ones.



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